It seems as though it was only yesterday as we traveled across the interstate. I spent the entire trip out to you sitting in the back seat, for once in my life letting someone else take charge. Totally out of character for me but I had other things on my mind. I wondered what you would be like. Would you be scared or curious? Would it be love at first sight? Most likely not, but rather a period of adjustment. A time for us to get to know one another. You would likely make mistakes, but so would I. My expectations were high and low all at once. My stomach in a knot. I didn’t know why, I have met and taken care of so many Freegles already so why was this time different? Because this time you were ours. Ours to watch over, to teach the ways of the world and to assure your safety when you would leave us for your forever home. I consider that a great responsibility. As I sat it that back seat heading towards you, I realized that you were the something that was missing in my life.
Your first days and weeks were, as we anticipated, difficult for all of us, I’m sure mostly for you though. I wanted more than anything for you to trust me. Wanting to pick you up and hug you tight to make up for lost time. As I look back on the past 6 months I see each of you in my minds eye as you took your first steps out of your crates to explore the outdoors for the first time. I was there when you made potty outside and not inside and my shouts of joy frightened you. I’m very sorry but you have no idea how happy that made me! I was there for your first night on a comfy bed, your first walks, your first hugs and your first party to welcome you all home. I was there as each of you went on to your forever homes and I cried great tears of joy for your new life. As we celebrate the 6 month anniversary of your homecoming I want to tell you all how proud I am of you.
Daisy, your indomitable spirit was apparent shortly after we met. You are such a smart girl and so very brave. I remind myself all the time that all I ever needed to know about being brave I learned from my Freegles. Daisy, my sweet, that applies mostly to you. I could not have asked for a better family for you. They have given you the time and love you needed to flourish in your new life. Your a working girl and a weekend New England getaway girl too! Taking your cues from your big brother, Professor, you hike off leash with your family, play endlessly with your best friend Ginger and sleep curled up in the fluffiest bed in the world dreaming the sweetest of dreams.
Maya, I am sad for those who do not believe in love at first sight, for you stole my heart from the moment we met and you kissed me ever so cautiously. The first one to stretch your legs and run like the wind across the backyard I’m sure the only thing stopping you from running off into the sunset is me. If only I was truly as wonderful as you think I am. You have taken up the role of Junior Ambassador next to your big sister, Juno, with much enthusiasm. She is a tough act to follow but I have no doubt you can hold your own! You have learned, rather quickly I might add, the finer things in life like visits to the city, elevators and fancy hotels where we do not pee on the carpet!
And last, but by no means the least, (I saved the best for last) Sunny. My eyes fill with tears and a lump forms in my throat as I think about your first few weeks of freedom. Bravery did not come easy for you, in fact it came in fits and starts. Wanting so badly to be part of the pack, you just couldn’t bring yourself to come into the kitchen to join us as I prepared our meals. Always on high alert for something to happen, you only settled down when you had another Freegle to snuggle with. Strength in numbers is always good advice, I suppose. Your forever family came to you at exactly the right moment. Sometimes good things come to those who wait and Sunny, my love, you are exactly where you should be. Some would call them foster failures but I know better. From the moment I met your Mom and Dad, something told me they were going to keep you. Now wedged firmly in their hearts as well as between them in bed each night there is no place on earth I would rather you be.
As our girls flourish in their new lives we keep looking towards the future and the next group we can bring home. I’ve never been big on patience and waiting for things like nonprofit paperwork to be processed. Don’t they know we have important work to do? My life lesson for now, as I wait for that paperwork is to sit on my hands and cultivate patience. I think I would much rather take a hike!!